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Marcus Borg makes some interesting points about Jesus.  “He was a remarkably free person. Free from fear and anxious preoccupation, he was free to see clearly and to love. His freedom was grounded in the Spirit, from which flowed the other central qualities of his life: courage, insight, joy, and above all compassion.” Why was he free?
I believe Jesus was free because he and the Father were one. God was his Abba. I believe that Jesus grew to know who he was and what it was that he was supposed to do.
Jesus took time to pray and be in silence. These times prepared him for the action he was to take. Scholars are divided on whether he thought or did not think of himself as God in person.
Marcus Borg reflects, “Though the story of the historical Jesus ends with his death on a Friday in A.D. 30, the story of Jesus does not end there.” Here we are some two thousand years later. The story is far from over. The historical Jesus has died. The resurrected Jesus, the Jesus of our faith is very much alive and a powerful force in this world.
Jesus is a powerful force in my life. I sit with this powerful force during my centering prayer practice. I arise from each sit resurrected with new life! Amos Smith wonderfully describes what happens during centering prayer in his book, Healing the Divide.
“During prayer we don’t name the silence. It’s beyond names. But when we return from the luminous silence, we exclaim the holy name: Jesus. The Jesus Paradox becomes the best phrase we have for penetrating the silent mystery.
Jesus has two aspects, absolute God and relative human. In the deepest forms of prayer we move beyond the bodily fatigue, various distractions, and pain to experience the absolute or non-dual aspect of Jesus (Jesus’ Divinity).
When we return from prayer we experience the relative or dualistic aspect of Jesus once again (Jesus’ humanity). These are the two aspects of The Jesus Paradox: absolute consciousness beyond names and forms and relative consciousness steeped in language.”
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 Marcus J. Borg, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith, (HarperOne): 1995
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David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings. Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners.
Check out my review of Christian Prayer Methods by Dr. Philip St. Romain. It also works well in group studies too.
Listen to Simply Good News by New Testament scholar and author N. T. Wright. It is based upon his book Simply Good News. You will instantly get into the heart of the idea of ‘good news’ as it was understood by the 1st Century writers of the New Testament. Also works well in group studies.
Prepare to be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus. Check out Simply Jesus by N. T. Wright.
Discover the Context, Content & Production of the New Testament in The Bible- An Introduction to the New Testament by Scott Metz.
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